The law of success lesson 11
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  • 1. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 The Law of Success Lesson 11 Napoleon Hill Introduction and Editing by Adrian P. Cooper Author of: Our Ultimate Reality Life, the Universe and the Destiny of Mankind Published by Mind Power Books A division of Mind Power Corporation Electronic book version copyright © 2006 Mind Power Corporation. This book may not be copied, converted or transmitted in whole or in part to any medium, without the permission in writing of Mind Power Corporation. Napoleon Hill | 1
  • 2. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 Introduction by Adrian P. Cooper When most people think of Napoleon Hill they immediately think of his most famous self-improvement work "Think and Grow Rich", a book that has influenced countless people over the last few decades to realising their own true wealth, including many multi-millionaires and even billionaires. What many people do not realise however is that "Think and Grow Rich" is a summary of a much greater and original work by Napoleon Hill, "The Law of Success", completed some years earlier. This earlier work was the result of his association with the great steel businessman Andrew Carnegie, who commissioned Napoleon Hill to research and write about the greatest business people of the time, documenting and analyzing the basis for their own great successes. The result was a mission spanning 500 interviews over 20 years, ultimately resulting in the recording of the greatest series of personal achievements ever compiled. Although this data was later to become the basis of "Think and Grow Rich" which so many people have read and used as the basis for their own success, it was originally used to author this great, huge and still largely unknown work, The Law of Success, which was originally published in the form of 16 lessons over 8 volumes, and constructed as a course for success that anyone can follow. This original version of The Law of Success over its 16 valuable lessons includes detailed instruction on the "master mind" principle, the importance of a definite chief aim, self confidence, the habit of saving, initiative and leadership, imagination, enthusiasm, self-control, the habit of doing more than paid for, pleasing personality, accurate thought, concentration, co- operation, failure, tolerance and finally the "golden rule". These lessons collectively form a timeless blueprint for wealth, success and happiness. Here now then is Lesson 11 of The Law of Success Napoleon Hill | 2
  • 3. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 Lesson Eleven ACCURATE THOUGHT IT is pardonable to tell your friends, by tactful suggestion, of your needs, but take care not to ask them outright for assistance if you would retain their friendship. THE LAW OF SUCCESS Napoleon Hill | 3
  • 4. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 The Law of Success Lesson Eleven ACCURATE THOUGHT “You Can Do It if You Believe You Can!” THIS is at one and the same time the most important, the most interesting and the most difficult to present lesson of this entire course on the Law of Success. It is important because it deals with a principle which runs through the entire course. It is interesting for the same reason. It is difficult to present for the reason that it will carry the average student far beyond the boundary line of his common experiences and into a realm of thought in which he is not accustomed to dwell. Unless you study this lesson with an open mind, you will miss the very key-stone to the arch of this course, and without this stone you can never complete your Temple of Success. This lesson will bring you a conception of thought which may carry you far above the level to which you have risen by the evolutionary processes to which you have been subjected in the past; and, for this reason, you should not be disappointed if, at first reading, you do not fully understand it. Most of us disbelieve that which we cannot understand, and it is with knowledge of this human tendency in mind that I caution you against closing your mind if you do not grasp all that is in this lesson at the first reading. For thousands of years men made ships of wood, and of nothing else. They used wood because they believed that it was the only substance that would float; but that was because they had not yet advanced far enough in their thinking process to understand the truth that steel will float, and that it is far superior to wood for the building of ships. They did not know that anything could float which was lighter than the amount of water is displaced, and until they learned of this great truth they went on making ships of wood. Until some twenty-five years ago, most men thought that only the birds could fly, but now we know that man can not only equal the flying of the Napoleon Hill | 4
  • 5. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 birds, but he can excel it. Men did not know, until quite recently, that the great open void known as the air is more alive and more sensitive than anything that is on the earth. They did not know that the spoken word would travel through the ether with the speed of a flash of lightning, without the aid of wires. How could they know this when their minds had not been unfolded sufficiently to enable them to grasp it? The purpose of this lesson is to aid you in so unfolding and expanding your mind that you will be able to think with accuracy, for this unfoldment will open to you a door that leads to all the power you will need in completing your Temple of Success. All through the preceding lessons of this course you observed that we have dealt with principles which any one could easily grasp and apply. You will also observe that these principles have been so presented that they lead to success as measured by material wealth. This seemed necessary for the reason that to most people the word success and the word money are synonymous terms. Obviously, the previous lessons of this course were intended for those who look upon worldly things and material wealth as being all that there is to success. Presenting the matter in another way, I was conscious of the fact that the majority of the students of this course would feel disappointed if 1 pointed out to them a roadway to success that leads through other than the doorways of business, and finance, and industry; for it is a matter of common knowledge that most men want success that is spelled SUCCESS! Very well -let those who are satisfied with this standard of success have it; but some there are who will want to go higher up the ladder, in search of success which is measured in other than material standards, and it is for their benefit in particular that this and the subsequent lessons of this course are intended. . . . . . Accurate thought involves two fundamentals which all who indulge in it must observe. First, to think accurately you must separate facts from mere information. There is much “information” available to you that is not based upon facts. Second, you must separate facts into two classes; namely, the important and the unimportant, or, the relevant and the irrelevant. Only by so doing can you think clearly. All facts which you can use in the attainment of your definite chief aim Napoleon Hill | 5
  • 6. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 are important and relevant; all that you cannot use are unimportant and irrelevant. It is mainly the neglect of some to make this distinction which accounts for the chasm which separates so widely people who appear to have equal ability, and who have had equal opportunity. Without going outside of your own circle of acquaintances you can point to one or more persons who have had no greater opportunity than you have had, and who appear to have no more, and perhaps less, ability than you, who are achieving far greater success. And you wonder why! Search diligently and you will discover that all such people have acquired the habit of combining and using the important facts which affect their line of work. Far from working harder than you, they are perhaps working less and with greater ease. By virtue of their having learned the secret of separating the important facts from the unimportant, they have provided themselves with a sort of fulcrum and lever with which they can move with their little fingers loads that you cannot budge with the entire weight of your body. The person who forms the habit of directing his attention to the important facts out of which he is constructing his Temple of Success, thereby provides himself with a power which may be likened to a trip— hammer which strikes a ten-ton blow as compared to a tack-hammer which strikes a one-pound blow! If these similes appear to be elementary you must keep in mind the fact that some of the students of this course have not yet developed the capacity to think in more complicated terms, and to try to force them to do so would be the equivalent of leaving them hopelessly be hind. That you may understand the importance of distinguishing between facts and mere information, study that type of man who is guided entirely by that which he hears; the type who is influenced by all the “whisperings of the winds of gossip”: that accepts, without analysis, all that he reads in the newspapers and judges others by what their enemies and competitors and contemporaries say about them. Search your circle of acquaintances and pick out one of this type as an example to keep before your mind while we are on this subject. Observe that this man usually begins his conversation with some such term as this -“I see by the papers, “ or “they say.” The accurate thinker knows that the newspapers are not always accurate in their reports, and he also knows that Napoleon Hill | 6
  • 7. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 what “they say” usually carries more falsehood than truth. If you have not risen above the “I see by the papers,” and the “they say” class, you have still far to go before you become an accurate thinker. Of course, much truth and many facts travel in the guise of idle gossip and newspaper reports; but the accurate thinker will not accept as such all that he sees and h ears. This is a point which I feel impelled to emphasize, for the reason that it constitutes the rocks and reefs on which so many people flounder and go down to defeat in a bottomless ocean of false conclusions THE great Edison failed ten thousand times before he made the incandescent electric light work. Do not become discouraged and “quit” if you fail once or twice before making your plans work. In the realm of legal procedure, there is a principle which is called the law of evidence; and the object of this law is to get at the facts. Any judge can proceed with justice to all concerned, if he has the facts upon which to base his judgment, but he may play havoc with innocent people if he circumvents the law of evidence and reaches a conclusion or judgment that is based upon hearsay information. The law of Evidence varies according to the subject and circumstances with which it is used, but you will not go far wrong if, in the absence of that which you know to be facts, you form your judgments on the hypothesis that only that part of the evidence before you which furthers your own interests without working any hardship on others is based upon facts. This is a crucial and important point in this lesson: therefore, I wish to be sure that you do not pass it by lightly. Many a man mistakes, knowingly or otherwise, expediency for fact; doing a thing, or refraining from doing it, for the sole reason that his action furthers his own interest without consideration as to whether it interferes with the rights of others. No matter how regrettable, it is true that most thinking of today, far from being accurate, is based upon the sole foundation of expediency. It is amazing to the more advanced student of accurate thought, how many people Napoleon Hill | 7
  • 8. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 there are who are “honest” when it is profitable to them, but find myriads of facts (?) to justify themselves in following a dishonest course when that course seems to be more profitable or advantageous. No doubt you know people who are like that. The accurate thinker adopts a standard by which he guides himself, and he follows that standard at all times, whether it works always to his immediate advantage, or carries him, now and then, through the fields of disadvantage (as it undoubtedly will). The accurate thinker deals with facts, regardless of how they affect his own interests, for he knows that ultimately this policy will bring him out on top, in full possession of the object of his definite chief aim in life. He understands the soundness of the philosophy that the old philosopher, Croesus, had in mind when he said: “There is a wheel on which the affairs of men revolve, and its mechanism is such that it prevents any man from being always fortunate.” The accurate thinker has but one standard by which he conducts himself, in his intercourse with his fellow men, and that standard is observed by him as faithfully when it brings him temporary disadvantage as it is when it brings him outstanding advantage; for, being an accurate thinker, he knows that, by the law of averages, he will more than regain at some future time that which he loses by applying his standard to his own temporary detriment. You might as well begin to prepare yourself to understand that it requires the staunchest and most unshakable character to become an accurate thinker, for you can see that this is where the reasoning of this lesson is leading. There is a certain amount of temporary penalty attached to accurate thinking; there is no denying this fact; but, while this is true, it is also true that the compensating reward, in the aggregate, is so overwhelmingly greater that you will gladly pay this penalty. In searching for facts it is often necessary to gather them through the sole source of knowledge and experience of others. It then becomes necessary to examine carefully both the evidence submitted and the person from whom the evidence comes; and when the evidence is of such a nature that it affects the interest of the witness who is giving it, there will be reason to scrutinize it all the more carefully, as witnesses who have an interest in the evidence that they are submitting often yield to the temptation to color and pervert it to protect that interest. Napoleon Hill | 8
  • 9. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 If one man slanders another, his remarks should be accepted, if of any weight at all, with at least a grain of the proverbial salt of caution; for it is a common human tendency for men to find nothing but evil in those whom they do not like. The man who has attained to the degree of accurate thinking that enables him to speak of his enemy without exaggerating his faults, and minimizing his virtues, is the exception and not the rule. Some very able men have not yet risen above this vulgar and self- destructive habit of belittling their enemies, competitors and contemporaries. I wish to bring this common tendency to your attention with all possible emphasis, because it is a tendency that is fatal to accurate thinking. Before you can become an accurate thinker, you must understand and make allowance for the fact that the moment a man or a woman begins to assume leadership in any walk of life, the slanderers begin to circulate “rumors” and subtle whisperings reflecting upon his or her character. No matter how fine one’s character is or what service he may be engaged in rendering to the world, he cannot escape the notice of those misguided people who delight in destroying instead of building. Lincoln’s political enemies circulated the report that he lived with a colored woman. Washington’s political enemies circulated a similar report concerning him. Since both Lincoln and Washington were southern men, this report was undoubtedly regarded by those who circulated it as being at one and the same time the most fitting and degrading one they could imagine. But we do not have to go back to our first President to find evidence of this slanderous nature with which men are gifted, for they went a step further, in paying their tributes to the late President Harding, and circulated the report that he had negro blood in his veins. When Woodrow Wilson came back from Paris with what he believed to be a sound plan for abolishing war and settling international disputes, all except the accurate thinker might have been led to believe, by the reports of the “they say” chorus, that he was a combination of Nero and Judas Iscariot. The little politicians, and the cheap politicians, and the “interest-paid” politicians, and the plain ignorants who did no thinking of their own, all joined in one mighty chorus for the purpose of destroying the one and only man in the history of the world who offered a plan for abolishing war. The slanderers killed both Harding and Wilson murdered them with vicious lies. They did the same to Lincoln, only in a somewhat more spectacular manner, by inciting a fanatic to hasten his death with a bullet. Napoleon Hill | 9
  • 10. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 Statesmanship and politics are not the only fields in which the accurate thinker must be on guard against the “they say” chorus. The moment a man begins to make himself felt in the field of industry or business, this chorus becomes active. If a man makes a better mouse-trap than his neighbor, the world will make a beaten path to his door; no doubt about that; and in the gang that will trail along will be those who come, not to commend, but to condemn and to destroy his reputation. The late John H. Patterson, president of the National Cash Register Company, is a notable example of what may happen to a man who builds a better cash register than that of his neighbor; yet, in the mind of the accurate thinker, there is not one scintilla of evidence to support the vicious reports that Mr. Patterson’s competitors circulated about him. As for Wilson and Harding, we may only judge how posterity will view them by observing how it has immortalized the names of Lincoln and Washington. Truth, alone, endures. All else must pass on with Time. The object of these references is not to eulogize those who stand in no particular need of eulogy; but, it is to direct your attention to the fact that “they say” evidence is always subject to the closest scrutiny; and all the more so when it is of a negative or destructive nature. No harm can come from accepting, as fact, hearsay evidence that is constructive: but its opposite, if accepted at all, should be subjected to the closest inspection possible under the available means of applying the law of evidence. YOU are well on the road toward success if you have such a keen conception of life that you never build a plan which contemplates your requesting another person to do that which does not bring that person some corresponding advantage in return for compliance with your request. As an accurate thinker, it is both your privilege and your duty to avail Napoleon Hill | 10
  • 11. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 yourself of facts, even though you must go out of your way to get them. If you permit yourself to be swayed to and fro by all manner of information that comes to your attention, you will never become an accurate thinker; and if you do not think accurately, you cannot be sure of attaining the object of your definite chief aim in life. Many a man has gone down to defeat because, due to his prejudice and hatred, he underestimated the virtues of his enemies or competitors. The eyes of the accurate thinker see facts -not the delusions of prejudice, hate and envy. An accurate thinker must be something of a good sportsman -in that he is fair enough (with himself at least) to look for virtues as well as faults in other people, for it is not without reason to suppose that all men have some of each of these qualities. “I do not believe that I can afford to deceive others -I know I cannot afford to deceive myself!” This must be the motto of the accurate thinker. . . . . . With the supposition that these “hints” are sufficient to impress upon your mind the importance of searching for facts until you are reasonably sure that you have found them, we will take up the question of organizing, classifying and using these facts. Look, once more, in the circle of your own acquaintances and find a person who appears to accomplish more with less effort than do any of his associates. Study this man and you observe that he is a strategist in that he has learned how to arrange facts so that he brings to his aid the Law of Increasing Returns which we described in a previous lesson. The man who knows that he is working with facts goes at his task with a feeling of self-confidence which enables him to refrain from temporizing, hesitating or waiting to make sure of his ground. He knows in advance what the outcome of his efforts will be: therefore, he moves more rapidly and accomplishes more than does the man who must “feel his way” because he is not sure that he is working with facts. The man who has learned of the advantages of searching for facts as the foundation of his thinking has gone a very long way toward the development of accurate thinking, but the man who has learned how to separate facts into the important and the unimportant has gone still further. The latter may be compared to the man who uses a triphammer, and thereby accomplishes at one blow more than the former, who uses a tack-hammer, can accomplish Napoleon Hill | 11
  • 12. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 with ten thousand blows. Let us analyze, briefly, a few men who have made it their business to deal with the important or relevant facts pertaining to their life-work. If it were not for the fact that this course is being adapted to the practical needs of men and women of the present workaday world, we would go back to the great men of the past -Plato, Aristotle, Epictetus, Socrates, Solomon, Moses and Christ -and direct attention to their habit of dealing with facts. However, we can find examples nearer our own generation that will serve our purpose to better advantage at this particular point. Inasmuch as this is an age in which money is looked upon as being the most concrete proof of success, let us study a man who has accumulated most as much of it as has any other man in the history of the world -John D. Rockefeller. Mr. Rockefeller has one quality that stands out, like a shining star, above all of his other qualities; it is his habit of dealing only with the relevant facts pertaining to his lifework. As a very young man (and a very poor young man, at that) Mr. Rockefeller adopted, as his definite chief aim, the accumulation of great wealth. It is not my purpose, nor is it of any particular advantage, to enter into Mr. Rockefeller’s method of accumulating his fortune other than to observe that his most pronounced quality was that of insisting on fact as the basis of his business philosophy. There are some who say that Mr. Rockefeller was not always fair with his competitors. That may or may not be true (as accurate thinkers we will leave the point undisturbed), but no one (not even his competitors) ever accused Mr. Rockefeller of forming “snap-judgments” or of underestimating the strength of his competitors. He not only recognized facts that affected his business, wherever and whenever he found them, but he made it his business to search for them until he was sure he had found them. Thomas A. Edison is another example of a man who has attained to greatness through the organization, classification and use of relevant facts. Mr. Edison works with natural laws as his chief aids; therefore, he must be sure of his facts before he can harness those laws. Every time you press a button and switch on an electric light, remember that it was Mr. Edison’s capacity for organizing relevant facts which made this possible. Every time you hear a phonograph, remember that Mr. Edison is the man who made it a reality, through his persistent habit of dealing with relevant facts. Napoleon Hill | 12
  • 13. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 Every time you see a moving picture, remember that it was born of Mr. Edison’s habit of dealing with important and relevant facts. In the field of science relevant facts are the tools with which men and women work. Mere information, or hearsay evidence, is of no value to Mr. Edison; yet he might have wasted his life working with it, as millions of other people are doing. Hearsay evidence could never have produced the incandescent electric light, the phonograph or the moving picture, and if it had, the phenomenon would have been an “accident.” In this lesson we are trying to prepare the student to avoid “accidents.” The question now arises as to what constitutes an important and relevant fact. The answer depends entirely upon what constitutes your definite chief aim in life, for an important and relevant fact is any fact which you can use, without interfering with the rights of others, in the attainment of that purpose. All other facts, as far as you are concerned, are superfluous and of minor importance at most. However, you can work just as hard in organizing, classifying and using unimportant and irrelevant facts as you can in dealing with their opposites, but you will not accomplish as much. . . . . . Up to this point we have been discussing only one factor of accurate thought, that which is based upon deductive reasoning. Perhaps this is the point at which some of the students of this course will have to think along lines with which they are not familiar, for we come, now, to the discussion of thought which does much more than gather, organize and combine facts. Let us call this creative thought! That you may understand why it is called creative thought it is necessary briefly to study the process of evolution through which the thinking man has been created. Thinking man has been a long time on the road of evolution, and he has traveled a very long way. In the words of judge T. Troward (in Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning), “Perfected man is the apex of the Evolutionary Pyramid, and this by a necessary sequence.” Let us trace thinking man through the five evolutionary steps through which we believe he has traveled, beginning with the very lowest; namely Napoleon Hill | 13
  • 14. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 1 The Mineral Period. Here we find life in its lowest form, lying motionless and inert; a mass of mineral substances, with no power to move. 2 Then comes the Vegetable Period. Here we find life in a more active form, with intelligence sufficient to gather food, grow and reproduce, but still unable to move from its fixed moorings. 3 Then comes the Animal Period. Here we find life in a still higher and more intelligent form, with ability to move from place to place. 4 Then comes the Human or Thinking Man Period, where we find life in its highest known form; the highest, because man can think, and because thought is the highest known form of organized SALESMANSHIP consists very largely in KNOWING and in SHOWING the prospective buyer the real merits of the goods or service you are trying to sell. energy. In the realm of thought man knows no limitations. He can send his thoughts to the stars with the quickness of a flash of lightning. He can gather facts and assemble them in new and varying combinations. He can create hypotheses and translate them into physical reality, through thought. He can reason both inductively and deductively. 5. Then comes the Spiritual Period. On this plane the lower forms of life, described in the previously mentioned four periods, converge and become infinitude in nature. At this point thinking man has unfolded, expanded and grown until he has projected his thinking ability into infinite intelligence. As yet, thinking man is but an infant in this fifth period, for he has not learned how to appropriate to his own use this infinite intelligence called Spirit. Moreover, with a few rare exceptions, man has not yet recognized thought as the connecting link which gives him access to the power of infinite intelligence. These exceptions have been such men as Moses, Solomon, Christ, Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Confucius and a comparatively small number of others of their type. Since their time we have had many who partly uncovered this great truth; yet the truth, itself, is as available now as it was then. Napoleon Hill | 14
  • 15. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 To make use of creative thought, one must work very largely on faith, which is the chief reason why more of us do not indulge in this sort of thought. The most ignorant of the race can think in terms of deductive reasoning, in connection with matters of a purely physical and material nature, but to go a step higher and think in terms of infinite intelligence is another question. The average man is totally at sea the moment he gets beyond that which he can comprehend with the aid of his five physical senses of seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and tasting. Infinite intelligence works through none of these agencies and we cannot invoke its aid through any of them. How, then, may one appropriate the power of infinite intelligence? is but a natural question. And the answer is: Through creative thought! To make clear the exact manner in which this is done I will now call your attention to some of the preceding lessons of this course through which you have been prepared to understand the meaning of creative thought. In the second lesson, and to some extent in practically every other lesson that followed it, up to this one, you have observed the frequent introduction of the term “Autosuggestion.” (Suggestion that you make to yourself.) We now come back to that term again, because Auto-suggestion is the telegraph line, so to speak, over which you may register in your subconscious mind a description or plan of that which you wish to create or acquire in physical form. It is a process you can easily learn to use. The sub-conscious mind is the intermediary between the conscious thinking mind and infinite intelligence, and you can invoke the aid of infinite intelligence only through the medium of the subconscious mind, by giving it clear instructions as to what you want. Here you become familiar with the psychological reason for a definite chief aim. If you have not already seen the importance of creating a definite chief aim as the object of your life-work, you will undoubtedly do so before this lesson shall have been mastered. Knowing, from my own experience as a beginner in the study of this and related subjects, how little I understood such terms as “Sub-conscious Mind” and “Auto-suggestion” and “Creative Thought, “I have taken the liberty, throughout this course, of describing these terms through every Napoleon Hill | 15
  • 16. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 conceivable simile and illustration, with the object of making their meaning and the method of their application so clear that no student of this course can possibly fail to understand. This accounts for the repetition of terms which you will observe throughout the course, and at the same time serves as an apology to those students who have already advanced far enough to grasp the meaning of much that the beginner will not understand at first reading. The sub-conscious mind has one outstanding characteristic to which I will now direct your attention; namely, it records the suggestions which von send it through Auto-suggestion, and invokes the aid of infinite intelligence in translating these suggestions into their natural physical form, through natural means which are in no way out of the ordinary. It is important that you understand the foregoing sentence, for, if YOU fail to understand it, you are likely to fail, also, to understand the importance of the very foundation upon which this entire course is built -that foundation being the principle of infinite intelligence, which may be reached and appropriated at will through aid of the law of the “Master Mind” described in the Introductory Lesson. Study carefully, thoughtfully and with meditation, the entire preceding paragraph. The sub-conscious mind has another outstanding characteristic -it accepts and acts upon all suggestions that reach it, whether they are constructive or destructive, and whether they come from the outside or from your own conscious mind. You can see, therefore, how essential it is for you to observe the law of evidence and carefully follow the principles laid down in the beginning of this lesson, in the selection of that which you will pass on to your sub- conscious mind through Auto-suggestion. You can see why one must search diligently for facts, and why one cannot afford to lend a receptive ear to the slanderer and the scandalmonger -for to do so is the equivalent of feeding the sub-conscious mind with food that is poison and ruinous to creative thought. The sub-conscious mind may be likened to the sensitive plate of a camera on which the picture of any object placed before the camera will be recorded. The plate of the camera does not choose the sort of picture to be recorded on it, it records anything which reaches it through the lens. The conscious mind may be likened to the shutter which shuts off the light from the sensitized plate, permitting nothing to reach the plate for record except that which the operator wishes to reach it. The lens of the camera may be likened to Auto-suggestion, for it is the medium which carries the image of Napoleon Hill | 16
  • 17. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 the object to be registered, to the sensitized plate of the camera. And infinite intelligence may be likened to the one who develops the sensitized plate, after a picture has been recorded on it, thus bringing the picture into physical reality. The ordinary camera is a splendid instrument with which to compare the whole process of creative thought. First comes the selection of the object to be exposed before the camera. This represents one’s definite chief aim in life. Then comes the actual operation of recording a clear outline of that purpose, through the lens of Auto-suggestion, on the sensitized plate of the sub-conscious mind. Here infinite intelligence steps in and develops the outline of that purpose in a physical form appropriate to the nature of the purpose. The part which you must play is clear! You select the picture to be recorded (definite chief aim). Then you fix your conscious mind upon this purpose with such intensity that it communicates with the subconscious mind, through Autosuggestion, and registers that picture. You then begin to watch for and to expect manifestations of physical realization of the subject of that picture. Bear in mind the fact that you do not sit down and wait, nor do you go to bed and sleep, with the expectation of awaking to find that infinite intelligence has showered you with the object of your definite chief aim. You go right ahead, in the usual way, doing your daily work in accordance with the instructions laid down in Lesson Nine of this course, with full faith and confidence that natural ways and means for the attainment of the object of your definite purpose will open to you at the proper time and in a suitable manner. The way may not open suddenly, from the first step to the last, but it may open one step at a time. Therefore, when you are conscious of an opportunity ANY man may become great by doing the commonplace things of life in a great spirit, with a genuine desire to be of helpful service to others, regardless of his calling. Napoleon Hill | 17
  • 18. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 to take the first step, take it without hesitation, and do the same when the second, and the third, and all subsequent steps, essential for the attainment of the object of your definite chief aim, are manifested to you. Infinite intelligence will not build you a home and deliver that home to you, ready to enter; but infinite intelligence will open the way and provide the necessary means with which you may build your own house. Infinite intelligence will not command the cashier of your bank to place a definite sum of money to your credit, just because you suggested this to your subconscious mind; but infinite intelligence will open to you the way in which you may earn or borrow that money and place it to your own credit. Infinite intelligence will not throw out the present incumbent of the White House and make you President in his place; but infinite intelligence would most likely proceed, under the proper circumstances, to influence you to prepare yourself to fill that position with credit and then help you to attain it through the regular method of procedure. Do not rely upon the performance of miracles for the attainment of the object of your definite chief aim; rely upon the power of infinite intelligence to guide you, through natural channels, and with the aid of natural laws, for its attainment. Do not expect infinite intelligence to bring to you the object of your definite chief aim; instead, expect infinite intelligence to direct you toward that object. As a beginner, do not expect infinite intelligence to move quickly in your behalf; but, as you become more adept in the use of the principle of Autosuggestion, and as you develop the faith and understanding required for its quick realization, you can create a definite chief aim and witness its immediate translation into physical reality. You did not walk the first time you tried, but now, as an adult (an adept at walking), you walk without effort. You also look down at the little child as it wobbles around, trying to walk, and laugh at its efforts. As a beginner in the use of creative thought, you may be compared to the little child who is learning to take its first step. I have the best of reasons for knowing that this comparison is accurate, but I will not state them. I will let you find out your own reason, in your own way. Keep in mind, always, the principle of evolution through the operation of which everything physical is eternally reaching upward and trying to complete the cycle between finite and infinite intelligences. Man, himself, is the highest and most noteworthy example of the Napoleon Hill | 18
  • 19. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 working of the principle of evolution. First, we find him down in the minerals of the earth, where there is life but no intelligence. Next, we find him raised, through the growth of vegetation (evolution), to a much higher form of life, where he enjoys sufficient intelligence to feed himself. Next, we find him functioning in the animal period, where he has a comparatively high degree of intelligence, with ability to move around from place to place. Lastly, we find him risen above the lower species of the animal kingdom, to where he functions as a thinking entity, with ability to appropriate and use infinite intelligence. Observe that he did not reach this high state all at one bound. He climbed -step by step, perhaps through many reincarnations. Keep this in mind and you will understand why you cannot reasonably expect infinite intelligence to circumvent the natural laws and turn man into the storehouse of all knowledge and all power until he has prepared himself to use this knowledge and power with higher than finite intelligence. If you want a fair example of what may happen to a man who suddenly comes into control of power, study some newly-rich or someone who has inherited a fortune. Money-power in the hands of John D. Rockefeller is not only in safe hands, but it is in hands where it is serving mankind throughout the world, blotting out ignorance, destroying contagious disease and serving in a thousand other ways of which the average individual knows nothing. But place John D. Rockefeller’s fortune in the hands of some young lad who has not yet finished high school and you might have another story to tell, the details of which your own imagination and your knowledge of human nature will supply. I will have more to say on this subject in Lesson Fourteen. If you have ever done any farming, you understand that certain preparations are necessary before a crop can be produced from the ground. You know, of course, that grain will not grow in the woods, that it requires sunshine and rain for its growth. Likewise, you understand that the farmer must plow the soil and properly plant the grain. After all this has been done, he then waits on Nature to do her share of the work; and she does it in due time, without outside help. This is a perfect simile which illustrates the method through which one may attain the object of one’s definite chief aim. First comes the preparing of the soil to receive the seed, which is represented by faith and infinite intelligence and understanding of the principle of Auto-suggestion and the Napoleon Hill | 19
  • 20. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 sub-conscious mind through which the seed of a definite purpose may be planted. Then comes a period of waiting and working for the realization of the object of that purpose. During this period, there must be continuous, intensified faith, which serves as the sunshine and the rain, without which the seed will wither and die in the ground. Then comes realization, harvest-time. And a wonderful harvest can be brought forth. I am fully conscious of the fact that much of that which I am stating will not be understood by the beginner, at the first reading, for I have in mind my own experiences at the start. However, as the evolutionary process carries on its work (and it will do so; make no mistake about this) all the principles described in this and in all other lessons of this course, will become as familiar to you as did the multiplication table after you had mastered it; and, what is of greater importance still, these principles will work with the same unvarying certainty as does the principle of multiplication. Each lesson of this course has provided you with definite instructions to follow. The instructions have been simplified as far as possible, so anyone can understand them. Nothing has been left to the student except to follow the instructions and supply the faith useless. In this lesson you are dealing with four major factors to which I would again direct your attention with the request that you familiarize yourself with them. They are: Auto-suggestion, the Sub-conscious Mind, Creative Thought and Infinite Intelligence. These are the four roadways over which you must travel in your upward climb in quest of knowledge. Observe that you control three of these. Observe, also - and this is especially emphasized -that upon the manner in which you traverse these three roadways will depend the time and place at which they will converge into the fourth, or infinite intelligence. You understand what is meant by the terms Autosuggestion and Sub- conscious Mind. Let us make sure that you understand, also, what is meant by the term Creative Thought. This means thought of a positive, non- destructive, creative nature. The object of Lesson Eight, on Self-control, was to prepare you to understand and successfully apply the principle of Creative Thought. if you have not mastered that lesson you are not ready to make use of Creative Thought in the attainment of your definite chief aim. Let me repeat a simile already used by saying that your sub-conscious Napoleon Hill | 20
  • 21. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 mind is the field or the soil in which you sow the seed of your definite chief aim. Creative Thought is the instrument with which you keep that soil fertilized and conditioned to awaken that seed into growth and maturity. Your subconscious mind will not germinate the seed of your definite chief aim nor will infinite intelligence translate that REMEMBER that your real wealth can be measured, not by what you have, but, by what you are. purpose into physical reality if you fill your mind with hatred, and envy, and jealousy, and selfishness and greed. These negative or destructive thoughts are the weeds which will choke out the seed of your definite purpose. Creative thought pre-supposes that you will keep your mind in a state of expectancy of attainment of the object of your definite chief aim; that you will have full faith and confidence in its attainment in due course and in due order. If this lesson does that which it was intended to do, it will bring you a fuller and deeper realization of the third lesson of this course, on Self- confidence. As you begin to learn how to plant the seed of your desires in the fertile soil of your sub-conscious mind, and how to fertilize that seed until it springs into life and action, you will then have reason, indeed, to believe in yourself. And, after you have reached this point in the process of your evolution, you will have sufficient knowledge of the real source from which you are drawing your power, to give full credit to infinite intelligence for all that you had previously credited to your Self-confidence. . . . . . Auto-suggestion is a powerful weapon with which one may rise to heights of great achievement, when it is used constructively. Used in a negative manner, however, it may destroy all possibility of success, and if so used continuously it will actually destroy health. Careful comparison of the experiences of leading physicians and psychiatrists disclosed the startling information that approximately seventy- Napoleon Hill | 21
  • 22. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 five per cent of those who are ill are suffering from hypochondria, which is a morbid state of mind causing useless anxiety about one’s health. Stated in plain language, the hypochondriac is a person who believes he or she is suffering with some sort of imaginary disease, and often these unfortunates believe they have every disease of which they ever heard the name. Hypochondriacal conditions are generally superinduced by auto- intoxication, or poisoning through failure of the intestinal system to throw off the waste matter. The person who suffers with such a toxic condition is not only unable to think with accuracy, but suffers from all sorts of perverted, destructive, illusory thoughts. Many sick people have tonsils removed, or teeth pulled, or the appendix taken out, when their trouble could have been removed with an internal bath and a bottle of Citrate of Magnesia (with due apologies to my friends, the physicians, one of the leading of whom gave me this information). Hypochondria is the beginning of most cases of insanity! Dr. Henry R. Rose is authority for the following typical example of the power of Auto-suggestion: “‘If my wife dies I will not believe there is a God’ His wife was ill with pneumonia, and this is the way he greeted me when I reached his home. She had sent for me because the doctor had told her she could not recover. (Most doctors know better than to make a statement such as this in the presence of a patient.) She had called her husband and two sons to her bedside and bidden them good-by. Then she asked that I, her minister, be sent for. I found the husband in the front room sobbing and the sons doing their best to brace her up. When I went into her room she was breathing with difficulty, and the trained nurse told me she was very low. “I soon found that Mrs. N_ had sent for me to look after her two sons after she was gone. Then I said to her: ‘You mustn’t give up. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO DIE! You have always been a strong and healthy woman and 1 do not believe God wants you to die and leave your boys to me or anyone else.’ “I talked to her along this line and then read the 103d Psalm and made a prayer in which I prepared her to get well rather than to enter eternity. I told her to put her faith in God and throw her mind and will against every thought of dying. Then I left her, saying, ‘I will come again after the church service, and I will then find you much better.’ Napoleon Hill | 22
  • 23. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 “This was on Sunday morning. I called that afternoon. Her husband met me with a smile. He said that the moment I had gone his wife called him and the boys into the room and said: ‘Dr. Rose says that I am not going to die; that I am going to get well, and I am.’ “She did get well. But what did it? Two things Autosuggestion, superinduced by the suggestion I had given her, and faith on her part. I came just in the nick of time, and so great was her faith in me that I was able to inspire faith in herself. It was that faith that tipped the scales and brought her through the pneumonia. No medicine can cure pneumonia. The physicians admit that. There are cases of pneumonia, perhaps, that nothing can cure. We all sadly agree to that, but there are times, as in this case, when the mind, if worked upon and worked with in just the right way, will turn the tide. While there is life there is hope: but hope must rule supreme and do the good that hope was intended to do. “Here is another remarkable case showing the power of the human mind when used constructively. A physician asked me to see Mrs. H_. He said there was nothing organically wrong with her, but she just wouldn’t eat. Having made up her mind that she could not retain anything on her stomach, she had quit eating, and was slowly starving herself to death. I went to see her and found, first, that she had no religious belief. She had lost her faith in God. I also found that she had no confidence in her power to retain food. My first effort was to restore her faith in the Almighty and to get her to believe that He was with her and would give her power. Then I told her that she could eat anything she wanted. True, her confidence in me was great and my statement impressed her. She began to eat from that day! She was out of her bed in three days, for the first time in weeks. She is a normal, healthy and happy woman today. “What did it? The same forces as those described in the preceding case; outside suggestion (which she accepted in faith and applied, through self- suggestion) and inward confidence. “There are times when the mind is sick and it makes the body sick. At such times it needs a stronger mind to heal it by giving it direction and especially by giving it confidence and faith in itself. This is called suggestion. It is transmitting your confidence and power to another, and with such force as to make the other believe as you wish and do as you will. It need not be hypnotism. You can get wonderful results with the patient wide awake and perfectly rational. The patient must believe in you and you must understand Napoleon Hill | 23
  • 24. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 the workings of the human mind in order to meet the arguments and questions of the patient. Each one of us can be a healer of this sort and thus help our fellow men. “It is the duty of every person to read some of the best books on the forces of the human mind and learn what amazing things the mind can do to keep people well and happy. We see the terrible things that wrong thinking does to people, even going to such lengths as to make them positively insane. It is high time we found out the good things the mind can do, not only to cure mental disorders, but physical diseases as well” You should delve deeper into this subject. I do not say the mind can cure everything. There is no reliable evidence that certain forms of cancer have been cured by thinking or faith or any mental or religious process. lf you would be cured of cancer you must take it at the very beginning and treat it surgically. There is no other way, and it would be criminal to suggest that there is. But the mind can do much with so many types of human indisposition and disease that we ought to rely upon it more often than we do. Napoleon, during his campaign in Egypt, went among his soldiers who were dying by the hundreds of the black plague. He touched one of them and lifted a second, to inspire the others not to be afraid, for the WE climb to heaven mostly on the ruins of our cherished plans, finding our failures were but friendly guide-posts that led us onward and upward to success. awful disease seemed to spread as much by the aid of the imagination as in any other way. Goethe tells us that he himself went where there was malignant fever and never contracted it because he put forth his will. These giants among men knew something WE ARE SLOWLY BEGINNING TO FIND OUT -the power of Auto-suggestion! This means the influence we have upon ourselves by believing we cannot catch a disease or be sick. There is something about the operation of the automatic or sub-conscious mind by which it rises above disease germs and bids defiance to them when we Napoleon Hill | 24
  • 25. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 resolve not to let the thought of them frighten us, or when we go in and out among the sick, even the contagiously sick, without thinking anything about it. “Imagination will kill a cat,” so runs the old adage. It certainly will kill a man, or, on the other hand, it will help him rise to heights of achievement of the most astounding nature, providing he uses it as the basis of self- confidence. There are authentic cases on record of men having actually died because they imagined they were cut by a knife across the jugular vein, when in reality a piece of ice was used and water was allowed to drip so they could hear it and imagine their blood was running out. They had been blindfolded before the experiment was begun. No matter how well you may be when you start for work in the morning, if everyone you meet should say to you, “How ill you look; you should see a doctor,” it will not be long before you begin to feel ill, and if this keeps up a few hours you will arrive at home in the evening as limp as a rag and ready for a doctor. Such is the power of the imagination or Autosuggestion. The imaginative faculty of the human mind is a marvelous piece of mental machinery, but it may, and usually does, play queer tricks on us unless we keep constantly on guard and control it. If you allow your imagination to “expect the worst” it will play havoc with you. Young medical students not infrequently become frightened and believe they have every disease on the medical calendar, as the result of medical lectures and classroom discussions of the various diseases. As has been stated, hypochondria may often be superinduced by toxic poisoning, through improper elimination of the waste matter of the body; also, it may be brought on by false alarm, through improper use of the imagination. in other words, the hypochondriacal condition may have as its cause a real physical basis, or it may arise entirely as the result of allowing the imagination to run wild. Physicians are pretty well agreed upon this point! Dr. Schofield describes the case of a woman who had a tumor. They placed her on the operating table and gave her anesthetics, when ho! the tumor immediately disappeared, and no operation was necessary. But when she came back to consciousness the tumor returned. The physician then learned that she had been living with a relative who had a real tumor, and that her imagination was so vivid that she had imagined this one upon herself. She was placed on the operating table again, given anesthetics and then she was Napoleon Hill | 25
  • 26. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 strapped around the middle so that the tumor could not artificially return. When she revived she was told that a successful operation had been performed but that it would be necessary to wear the bandage for several days. She believed the doctor, and when the bandage was finally removed the tumor did not return. No operation whatever had been performed. She had simply relieved her subconscious mind of the thought that she had a tumor and her imagination had nothing to work upon save the idea of health, and, as she had never really been sick, of course she remained normal. The mind may be cured of imaginary ills in exactly the same manner that it became diseased with those ills, by Auto-suggestion. The best time to work on a faulty imagination is at night, just as you are ready to go to sleep, for then the automatic or subconscious mind has everything its own way, and the thoughts or suggestions you give it just as your conscious or “day” mind is about to go off duty will be taken up and worked on during the night. This may seem impossible, but you can easily test the principle by the following procedure: You wish to get up at seven o’clock tomorrow morning or at some hour other than your regular time to awaken. Say to yourself, as you are about ready to go to sleep, “I must arise at seven o’clock tomorrow without fail.” Repeat this several times, at the same time impressing the fact upon your mind that you must actually arise at the precise moment mentioned. Turn this thought over to your sub-conscious mind with absolute confidence that you will awaken at seven o’clock, and when that hour arrives your sub-conscious mind will awaken you. This test has been successfully made hundreds of times. The sub-conscious mind will awaken you, at any hour you demand, just as if someone came to your bed and tapped you on the shoulder. But you must give the command in no uncertain or indefinite terms. Likewise, the sub-conscious mind may be given any other sort of orders and it will carry them out as readily as it will awaken you at a given hour. For example, give the command, as you are about to go to sleep each night, for your sub-conscious mind to develop self-confidence, courage, initiative or any other quality, and it will do your bidding. If the imagination of man can create imaginary ills and send one to bed with those ills, it can also, and just as easily, remove the cause of those ills. . . . . . Man is a combination of chemical equivalents the value of which is said to be about twenty-six dollars, with the exception, of course, of that Napoleon Hill | 26
  • 27. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 stupendous power called the human mind. In the aggregate the mind seems to be a complicated machine, but in reality; as far as the manner in which it may be used is concerned, it is the nearest thing to perpetual motion that is known. It ‘works automatically when we are asleep; it works both automatically and in conjunction with the will, or voluntary section, when we are awake. The mind is deserving of the minutest possible analysis in this lesson because the mind is the energy with which all thinking is done. To learn how to THINK ACCURATELY, the teaching of which is the sole object of this lesson, one must thoroughly understand: First: That the mind can be controlled, guided and directed to creative, constructive ends. Second: That the mind can be directed to destructive ends, and, that it may, voluntarily, tear down and destroy unless it is with plan and deliberation controlled and directed constructively. Third: That the mind has power over every cell of the body, and can be made to cause every cell to do its intended work perfectly or it may, through neglect or wrong direction, destroy the normal functionary purposes of any or all cells. Fourth: That all achievement of man is the result of thought, the part which his physical body plays being of secondary importance, and in many instances of no importance whatsoever except as a housing place for the mind. Fifth: That the greatest of all achievements, whether in literature, art, finance, industry, commerce, transportation, religion, politics or scientific discoveries, are usually the results of ideas conceived in one man’s brain but ACTUALLY TRANSFORMED INTO REALITY BY OTHER MEN, through the combined use of their minds and bodies. (Meaning that the conception of an idea is of greater importance than the transformation of that idea into more material form, because relatively few men can conceive useful ideas, while there are hundreds of millions who can develop an idea and give it material form after it has been conceived.) Sixth: The majority of all thoughts conceived in the minds of men are not ACCURATE, being more in the nature of “opinions” or “snap- judgments.” When Alexander the Great sighed because he had no more worlds (as he believed) that could be conquered he was in a frame of mind similar to Napoleon Hill | 27
  • 28. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 that the present-day “Alexanders” of science, industry, invention, etc., whose “accurate thoughts” have conquered the air and the sea, WHEN a man really finds himself, at the top of the Ladder of Success, he is never alone, because no man can climb to genuine success without taking others along with him. explored practically every square mile of the little earth on which we live, and wrested from Nature thousands of “secrets” which, a few generations ago, would have been set down as “miracles” of the most astounding and imponderable sort. In all this discovery and mastery of mere physical substances is it not strange, indeed, that we have practically neglected and overlooked the most marvelous of all powers, the human mind! All scientific men who have made a study of the human mind readily agree on this -that the surface has not yet been scratched in the study of the wonderful power which lies dormant in the mind of man, waiting, as the oak tree sleeps in the acorn, to be aroused and put to work. Those who have expressed themselves on the subject are of the opinion that the next great cycle of discovery lies in the realm of the human mind. The possible nature of these discoveries has been suggested, in many different ways, in practically every lesson of this course, particularly in this and the following lessons of the course. If these suggestions appear to lead the student of this philosophy into deeper water than he or she is accustomed to, bear in mind the fact that the student has the privilege of stopping at any depth desired, until ready, through thought and study, to go further. The author of this course has found it necessary to take the lead, and to keep far enough ahead, as it were, to induce the student to go at least a few paces ahead of the normal average range of human thought. It is not expected that any beginner will, at first, try to assimilate and put into use all that has been included in this philosophy. But, if the net result of the course is nothing Napoleon Hill | 28
  • 29. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 more than to sow the seed of constructive thought in the mind of the student the author’s work will have been completed. Time, plus the student’s own desire for knowledge, will do the rest. This is an appropriate place to state frankly that many of the suggestions passed on through this course would, if literally followed, lead the student far beyond the necessary bounds and present needs of what is ordinarily called business philosophy. Stated differently, this course goes more deeply into the functioning processes of the human mind than is necessary as far as the use of this philosophy as a means of achieving business or financial success is concerned. However, it is presumed that many students of this course will wish to go more deeply into the study of mind power than may be required for purely material achievement, and the author has had in mind these students throughout the labor of organizing and writing this course. SUMMARY OF PRINCIPLES INVOLVED IN ACCURATE THINKING We have discovered that the body of man is not singular, but plural - that it consists of billions on top of billions of living, intelligent, individual cells which carry on a very definite, well organized work of building, developing and maintaining the human body. We have discovered that these cells are directed, in their respective duties, by the sub-conscious or automatic action of the mind: that the subconscious section of the mind can be, to a very large extent, controlled and directed by the conscious or voluntary section of the mind. We have found that any idea or thought which is held in the mind, through repetition, has a tendency to direct the physical body to transform such thought or idea into its material equivalent. We have found that any order that is PROPERLY given to the subconscious section of the mind (through the law of Auto-suggestion) will be carried out unless it is sidetracked or countermanded by another and stronger order. We have found that the sub-conscious mind does not question the source from which it receives orders, nor the soundness of those orders, but it will proceed to direct the muscular system of the body to carry out any order it receives. This explains the necessity for guarding closely the environment from which we receive suggestions, and by which we are subtly and quietly Napoleon Hill | 29
  • 30. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 influenced at times and in ways of which we do not take cognizance through the conscious mind. We have found that every movement of the human body is controlled by either the conscious or the subconscious section of the mind; that not a muscle can be moved until an order has been sent out by one or the other of these two sections of the mind, for the movement. When this principle is thoroughly understood we understand, also, the powerful effect of any idea or thought which we create through the faculty of IMAGINATION and hold in the conscious mind until the sub-conscious section of the mind has time to take over that thought and begin the work of transforming it into its material counterpart. When we understand the principle through which any idea is first placed in the conscious mind, and held there until the subconscious section of the mind picks it up and appropriates it, we have a practical working knowledge of the Law of Concentration, covered by next lesson (and, it might be added, we have also a thorough understanding of the reason why the Law of Concentration is necessarily a part of this philosophy). When we understand this working relationship between the imagination, the conscious mind and the sub-conscious section of the mind, we can see that the very first step in the achievement of any definite chief aim is to create a definite picture of that which is desired. This picture is then placed in the conscious mind, through the Law of Concentration, and held there (through the formulas described in next lesson) until the sub-conscious section of the mind picks it up and translates it into its ultimate and desired form. Surely this principle has been made clear. It has been stated and restated, over and over, not only for the purpose of thoroughly describing it, but, of greater importance, to IMPRESS UPON THE MIND OF THE STUDENT THE PART IT PLAYS IN ALL HUMAN ACHIEVEMENT. THE VALUE OF ADOPTING A CHIEF AIM This lesson on Accurate Thought not only describes the real purpose of a definite chief aim, but it explains in simple terms the principles through which such an aim or purpose may be realized. We first create the objective toward which we are striving, through the imaginative faculty of the mind, then transfer an outline of this objective to paper by writing out a definite statement of it in the nature of a definite chief aim. By daily reference to this written statement the idea or thing aimed for is taken up by tile conscious Napoleon Hill | 30
  • 31. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 mind and handed over to the subconscious mind, which, in turn, directs the energies of the body to transform the desire into material form. DESIRE Strong, deeply rooted desire is the starting point of all achievement. Just as the electron is the last unit of matter discernible to the scientist, DESIRE is the seed of all achievement; the starting place, back of which there is nothing, or at least there is nothing of which we have any knowledge. A definite chief aim, which is only another name for DESIRE, would be meaningless unless based upon a deeply seated, strong desire for the object of the chief aim. Many people “wish” for many things, but a wish is not the equivalent of a strong DESIRE, and therefore wishes are of little or no value unless they are crystallized into the more definite form of DESIRE. It is believed by men who have devoted years of research to the subject, that all energy and matter throughout the universe respond to and are controlled by the Law of Attraction which causes elements and forces of a similar nature to gather around certain centers of attraction. it is through the operation of this same universal Law of Attraction that constant, WM. WRIGLEY, Jr., has amassed a tremendous fortune by concentrating all his efforts on the manufacture and distribution of the “best” package of chewing gum, proving, once more, that the seed of success lies wrapped up in the little things of life. deeply seated, strong DESIRE attracts the physical equivalent or counterpart of the thing desired, or the means of securing it. We have learned, then, if this hypothesis is correct, that all cycles of human achievement work somewhat after this fashion: First, we picture in our conscious minds, through a definite chief aim (based upon a strong desire), some objective; we then focus our conscious mind upon this objective, by constant thought of it and belief in its attainment, until the subconscious section of the mind takes up the picture or outline of this Napoleon Hill | 31
  • 32. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 objective and impels us to take the necessary physical action to transform that picture into reality. SUGGESTION AND AUTO-SUGGESTION Through this and other lessons of the Law of Success course the student has learned that sense impressions arising out of one’s environment, or from statements or actions of other people, are called suggestions, while sense impressions that we place in our own minds are placed there by self- suggestion, or Autosuggestion. All suggestions coming from others, or from environment, influence us only after we have accepted them and passed them on to the sub-conscious mind, through the principle of Auto-suggestion, thus it is seen that suggestion becomes, and must become, Autosuggestion before it influences the mind of the one receiving it. Stated in another way, no one may influence another without the consent of the one influenced, as the influencing is done through one’s own power of Auto-suggestion. The conscious mind stands, during the hours when one is awake, as a sentinel, guarding the subconscious mind and warding off all suggestions which try to reach it from the outside, until those suggestions have been examined by the conscious mind, passed upon and accepted. This is Nature’s way of safeguarding the human being against intruders who would otherwise take control of any mind desired at will. It is a wise arrangement. THE VALUE OF AUTO-SUGGESTION IN AC COMPLISHING THE OBJECT OF YOUR DEFINITE CHIEF AIM One of the greatest uses to which one may direct the power of Auto- suggestion is that of making it help accomplish the object of one’s definite chief aim in life. The procedure through which this may be accomplished is very simple. While the exact formula has been stated in Lesson Two, and referred to in many other lessons of the course, the principle upon which it is based will be here, again, described, viz.: Napoleon Hill | 32
  • 33. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 Write out a clear, concise statement of that which you intend to accomplish, as your definite chief aim, covering a period of, let us say, the next five years. Make at least two copies of your statement, one to be placed where you can read it several times a day, while you are at work, and the other to be placed in the room where you sleep, where it can be read several times each evening before you go to sleep and just after you arise in the morning. The suggestive influence of this procedure (impractical though it may seem) will soon impress the object of your definite chief aim on your subconscious mind and, as if by a stroke of magic, you will begin to observe events taking place which will lead you nearer and nearer the attainment of that object. From the very day that you reach a definite decision in your own mind as to tile precise thing, condition or position in life that you deeply desire, you will observe, if you read books, newspapers and magazines, that important news items and other data bearing on the object of your definite chief aim will begin to come to your attention; you will observe, also, that opportunities will begin to come to you that will, if embraced, lead you nearer and nearer the coveted goal of your desire. No one knows better than the author of this course how impossible and impractical this may seem to the person who is not informed on the subject of mind operation; however, this is not an age favorable to the doubter or the skeptic, and the best thing for any person to do is to experiment with this principle until its practicality has been established. To the present generation it may seem that there are no more worlds to conquer in the field of mechanical invention, but every thinker (even those who are not accurate thinkers) will concede that we are just entering a new era of evolution, experiment and analysis as far as the powers of the human mind are concerned. The word “impossible” means less now than ever before in the history of the human race. There are some who have actually removed this word from their vocabularies, believing that man can do anything he can imagine and BELIEVE HE CAN DO! We have learned, for sure, that the universe is made up of two substances: matter and energy. Through patient scientific research we have discovered what we believe to be good evidence that everything that is or ever has been in the way of matter, when analyzed to the finest point, can be Napoleon Hill | 33
  • 34. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 traced back to the electron, which is nothing but a form of energy. On the other hand, every material thing that man has created began in the form of energy, through the seed of an idea that was released through the imaginative faculty of the human mind. In other words, the beginning of every material thing is energy and the ending of it is energy. All matter obeys the command of one form or another of energy. The highest known form of energy is that which functions as the human mind. The human mind, therefore, is the sole directing force of everything man creates, and what he may create with: This force in the future, as compared with that which he has created with it in the past, will make his past achievements seem petty and small. We do not have to wait for future discoveries in connection with the powers of the human mind for evidence that the mind is the greatest force known to mankind. We know, now, that any idea, aim or purpose that is fixed in the mind and held there with a will to achieve or attain its physical or material equivalent, puts into motion powers that cannot be conquered. Buxton said: “The longer I live the more certain I am that the great difference between men, between the feeble and the powerful, the great and the insignificant, is energy invincible determination – a purpose once fixed, and then death or victory. That quality will do anything that can be done in this world -and no talents, no circumstances, no opportunities will make a two-legged creature a man without it.” Donald G. Mitchell has well said: “Resolve is what makes a man manifest. Not puny resolve; not crude determinations; not errant purposes - but that strong and indefatigable will which treads down difficulties and danger, as a boy treads down tile heaving frost-lands of winter, which kindles his eye and brain with proud pulse beat toward the unattainable. WILL MAKES MEN GIANTS!” The great Disraeli said: “I have brought myself, by long meditation, to the conviction that a human being with a settled purpose must accomplish it, and that nothing can resist a will which will stake even existence upon its fulfillment.” Sir John Simpson said: “A passionate DESIRE and an unwearied will can perform impossibilities, or what may seem to be such to the cold, timid and feeble.” And John Foster adds his testimony when he says: “It is wonderful how even the casualties of life seem to bow to a spirit Napoleon Hill | 34
  • 35. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 that will not bow to them, and yield to subserve a design which they may, in their first apparent tendency, threaten to frustrate. When a firm, decisive spirit is recognized, it is curious to see how the space clears around a man and leaves him room and freedom.” Abraham Lincoln said of General Grant: “The great thing about Grant is his cool persistency of purpose. He is not easily excited, and he has got the grip of a bull-dog. When he once gets his teeth in, nothing can shake him off.” THE most successful physicians are those who mix hope and faith with the medicines they prescribe. It seems appropriate to state here that a strong desire, to be transformed into reality, must be backed with persistency until it is taken over by the subconscious mind. it is not enough to feel very deeply the desire for achievement of a definite chief aim, for a few hours or a few days, and then forget all about that desire. The desire must be placed in the mind and held there, with PERSISTENCE THAT KNOWS NO DEFEAT, until the automatic or subconscious mind takes it over. Up to this point you must stand back of the desire and push it: beyond this point the desire will stand back of you and push you on to achievement. Persistence may be compared to the dropping of water which finally wears away the hardest stone. When the final chapter of your life shall have been completed it will be found that your persistence, or lack of this sterling quality, played an important part in either your success or your failure. This author watched the Tunney-Dempsey fight, in Chicago. He also studied the psychology leading up to and surrounding their previous bout. Two things helped Tunney defeat Dempsey, on both occasions, despite the fact that Dempsey is the stronger of the two men, and, as many believe, the better fighter. And these two things, which spelled Dempsey’s doom, were, first, his own lack of self-confidence -the fear that Tunney might defeat him; and, second, Tunney’s complete self-reliance and his belief that he would whip Dempsey. Tunney stepped into the ring, with his chin in the air, an atmosphere of Napoleon Hill | 35
  • 36. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 self-assurance and certainty written in his every movement. Dempsey walked in, with a sort of uncertain stride, eying Tunney in a manner that plainly queried, “I wonder what you’ll do to me?” Dempsey was whipped, in his own mind, before he entered the ring. Press agents and propagandists had done the trick, thanks to the superior thinking ability of his opponent, Tunney. And so the story goes, from the lowest and most brutal of occupations, prize-fighting, on up to the highest and most commendable professions. Success is won by the man who understands how to use his power of thought. Throughout this course much stress has been laid upon the importance of environment and habit out of which grow the stimuli that put tile “wheels” of the human mind into operation. Fortunate is the person who has found how to arouse or stimulate his or her mind so that the powers of that mind will function constructively, as they may be made to do when placed back of any strong, deeply seated desire. Accurate thinking is thinking that makes intelligent use of all the powers of the human mind, and does not stop with the mere examination, classification and arranging of ideas. Accurate thought creates ideas and it may be made to transform these ideas into their most profitable, constructive form. . . . . . The student will perhaps be better prepared to analyze, without a feeling of skepticism and doubt, the principles laid down in this lesson if the fact is kept in mind that the conclusions and hypotheses here enumerated are not solely those of the author. I have had the benefit of close cooperation from some of the leading investigators in the field of mental phenomena, and conclusions reached, as stated in this entire course, are those of many different minds. . . . . . In the lesson on Concentration, you will be further instructed in the method of applying the principle of Autosuggestion. In fact, throughout the course, the principle of gradual unfoldment has been followed, paralleling that of the principle of evolution as nearly as possible. The first lesson laid the foundation for tile second, and the second prepared the way for the third, and so on. I have tried to build this course just as Nature builds a man -by a Napoleon Hill | 36
  • 37. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 series of steps each of which lifts the student just another step higher and nearer the apex of the pyramid which the course, as a whole, represents. The purpose in building this course in the manner outlined is one that cannot be described in words, but that purpose will become obvious and clear to you as soon as you shall have mastered the course, for its mastery will open to you a source of knowledge which cannot be imparted by one man to another, but is attainable only by educing, drawing out and expanding, from within one’s own mind. Tile reason this knowledge cannot be imparted by one to another is the same as that which makes it impossible for one person to describe colors to a blind person who has never seen colors. The knowledge of which I write became obvious to me only after I had diligently and faithfully followed tile instructions which I have laid down in this course for your guidance and enlightenment; therefore, I speak from experience when I say that there are no illustrations, similes or words with which to describe this knowledge adequately. It can only be imparted from within. With this vague “hint” as to the reward which awaits all who earnestly and intelligently search for the hidden passageway to knowledge to which I refer, we will now discuss that phase of accurate thought which will take you as high as you can go-except through the discovery and use of the secret passageway to which I have alluded. Thoughts are things! It is the belief of many that every completed thought starts an unending vibration with which the one who releases it will have to contend at a later time; that man, himself, is but the physical reflection of thought that was put into motion by infinite intelligence. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (St. John i, 13.) The only hope held out to mankind in the entire Bible is of a reward which may be attained in no way except by constructive thought. This is a startling statement, but if you are even an elementary student and interpreter of the Bible you understand that it is a true statement. If the Bible is plain on any one point above all others, it is on the fact that thought is the beginning of all things of a material nature. At the beginning of every lesson of this course you will observe this motto: Napoleon Hill | 37
  • 38. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 “You can do it if you BELIEVE you can!” This sentence is based upon a great truth which is practically the major premise of the entire Bible teaching. Observe the emphasis which is placed upon the word BELIEVE. Back of this word “believe” lies the power with which you can vitalize and give life to the suggestions that you pass on to your sub-conscious mind, through the principle of Auto-suggestion, with the aid of the law of the Master Mind. Do not miss this point. You cannot afford to miss it, as it is the very beginning, the middle and the end of all the power you will ever have. All thought is creative! However, not all thought is constructive or positive. If you think thoughts of misery and poverty and see no way to avoid these conditions, then your thoughts will create those very conditions and curse you with them. But reverse the order, and think thoughts of a positive, expectant nature and your thoughts will create those conditions. Thought magnetizes your entire personality and attracts to you the outward, physical things that harmonize with the nature of your thoughts. This has been made clear in practically every lesson preceding this one, yet it is repeated here, and will be repeated many times more in the lessons that follow. The reason for this constant repetition is that nearly all beginners in the study of mind operation overlook the importance of this fundamental and eternal truth. When you plant a definite chief aim in your subconscious mind you must fertilize it with full belief that infinite intelligence will step in and mature that purpose into FIRST acquire patience and perseverance, then make up your mind what else you want, and you will be almost sure to get it. reality in exact accordance with the nature of the purpose. Anything short of such belief will bring you disappointment. When you suggest a definite chief aim which embodies some definite desire, in your sub-conscious mind, you must accompany it with such faith and belief in the ultimate realization of that purpose that you can actually see yourself in possession of the object of the purpose. Conduct yourself in the Napoleon Hill | 38
  • 39. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 exact manner in which you would if you were already in possession of the object of your definite purpose, from the moment you suggest it to your sub- conscious mind. Do not question; do not wonder if the principles of Auto-suggestion will work; do not doubt, but believe! Surely this point has been sufficiently emphasized to impress upon your mind its importance. Positive belief in the attainment of your definite purpose is the very germ with which you fertilize the “egg of your thought” and if you fail to give it this fertilization, you might as well expect an unfertilized hen-egg to produce a chicken as to expect the attainment of the object of your definite chief aim. You never can tell what a thought will do In bringing you hate or love: For thoughts are things, and their airy wings Are swifter than a carrier dove. They follow the law of the universe, Each thought creates its kind, And they speed o’er the track to bring you back Whatever went out from your mind. Thoughts are things! This is a great truth which, when you understand it, will bring you as close to the door of that secret passage-way to knowledge, previously mentioned, as is possible for another person to bring you. When you grasp this fundamental truth you will soon find that door and open it. The power to think as you wish to think is the only power over which you have absolute control. Please read and study the foregoing sentence until you grasp its meaning. If it is within your power to control your thoughts the responsibility then rests upon you as to whether your thoughts will be of the positive or the negative type, which brings to mind one of the world’s most famous poems: Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. Napoleon Hill | 39
  • 40. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced or cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds, and shall find, me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul. -Henley Henley did not write this poem until after he had discovered the door to that secret passage-way which I have mentioned. You are the “master of your fate” and tile “captain of your soul,” by reason of the fact that you control your own thoughts, and, with the aid of your thoughts, you may create whatever you desire. . . . . . As we approach the close of this lesson, let us pull aside the curtain that hangs over the gateway called death and take a look into the Great Beyond. Behold a world peopled with beings who function without the aid of physical bodies. Look closely and, whether for weal or for woe, observe that you look at a world peopled with beings of your own creation, which correspond exactly to the nature of your own thoughts as you expressed them before death. There they are, the children of your own heart and mind, patterned after the image of your own thoughts. Those which were born of your hatred and envy and jealousy and selfishness and injustice toward your fellow men will not make very desirable neighbors, but you must live with them just the same, for they are your children and you cannot turn them out. You will be unfortunate, indeed, if you find there no children which were born of love, and justice, and truth, and kindness toward others. In the light of this allegorical suggestion, the subject of accurate Napoleon Hill | 40
  • 41. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 thought takes on a new and a much more important aspect, doesn’t it? If there is a possibility that every thought you release during this life will step out, in the form of a living being, to greet you after death, then you need no further reason for guarding all your thoughts more carefully than you would guard the food that you feed your physical body. I refer to this suggestion as “allegorical” for a reason that you will understand only after you shall have passed through the door of that secret passageway to knowledge that I have heretofore mentioned. To ask me how I know these things, before you pass through that door, would be as useless as it would be for a man who has never seen with his physical eyes to ask me what the color red looks like. I am not urging you to accept this viewpoint. I am not even arguing its soundness. I am merely fulfilling my duty and discharging my responsibility by giving you the suggestion. You must carry it out to a point at which you can accept or reject it, in your own way,, and of your own volition. The term “accurate thought” as used in this lesson refers to thought which is of your own creation. Thought that comes to you from others, through either suggestion or direct statement, is not accurate thought within the meaning and purpose of this lesson, although it may be thought that is based upon facts. I have now carried you to the apex of the pyramid of this lesson on accurate thought. I can take you no further. However, you have not gone the entire distance; you have but started. From here on you must be your own guide, but, if you have not wholly missed the great truth upon which the lesson is founded, yarn will not have difficulty in finding your own way. Let me caution you, however, not to become discourage if the fundamental truth of this lesson does not dawn upon you at first reading. It may require weeks or even months of meditation for you to comprehend fully this truth, but it is worth working for. The principles laid down in the beginning of this lesson you can easily understand and accept, because they are of the most elementary nature. However, as you began to follow the chain of thought along toward the close of the lesson, you perhaps found yourself being carried into waters too deep for you to fathom. Perhaps I can throw one final ray of light on the subject by reminding you that the sound of every voice, and of every note of music, and of every other nature that is being released at the time you are reading these lines is Napoleon Hill | 41
  • 42. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 floating through the ether right where you are. To hear these sounds you need but the aid of a modern radio outfit. Without this equipment as a supplement to your own sense of hearing you are powerless to hear these sounds. Had this same statement been made twenty years ago, you would have believed the one who made it to be insane or a fool. But you now accept the statement without question, because you know it is true. Thought is a much higher and more perfectly organized form of energy than is mere sound; therefore, it is not beyond the bounds of reason to suppose that every thought now being released and every thought that has ever been released is also in the ether (or somewhere else) and may be interpreted by those who have the equipment with which to do it. And, what sort of equipment is necessary? You ask. That will be answered when you shall have passed SOME men die too soon from over-eating, others die from strong drink, while still others just wither up and die because they have nothing else to do. through the door that leads to the secret passage-way to knowledge. It cannot be answered before. The passageway can be reached only through the medium of your own thoughts. This is one reason why all the great philosophers of the past admonished man to know himself. “Know thyself” is and has been the cry of the ages. The life of Christ was one uninterrupted promise of hope and possibility based entirely upon the knowledge which all may discover who search within their own beings. One of the unanswerable mysteries of God’s work is the fact that this great discovery is always self-discovery. The truth for which man is eternally searching is wrapped up in his own being: therefore, it is fruitless to search far afield in the wilderness of life or in the hearts of other men to find it. To do so brings you no nearer that which you are seeking, but takes you further away from it. And, it may be -who knows but you? -that even now, as you finish this lesson, you are nearer the door that leads to the secret passage-way to Napoleon Hill | 42
  • 43. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 knowledge than you have ever been before. With your mastery of this lesson will come a fuller understanding of the principle referred to in the Introductory Lesson as the “Master Mind.” Surely you now understand the reason for friendly co-operative alliance between two or more people. This alliance “steps up” the minds of those who participate in it. and permits them to contact their thought-power with infinite intelligence. With this statement the entire Introductory Lesson should have a new meaning for you. This lesson has familiarized you with the main reason why you should make use of the law of the Master Mind by showing you the height to which this law may be made to carry all who understand and use it. By this time you should understand wily a few men have risen to great heights of power and fortune, while others all around them remained in poverty and want. If you do not now understand the cause for this, you will by the time you master the remaining lessons of this course. Do not become discouraged if complete understanding of these principles does not follow your first reading of this lesson. This is the one lesson of the entire course which cannot be fully assimilated by the beginner through one reading. It will give up its rich treasures of knowledge only through thought, reflection and meditation. For this reason you are instructed to read this lesson at least four times, at intervals of one week apart. You are also instructed to read, again, the Introductory Lesson, that you may more accurately and definitely understand the law of the Master Mind and the relationship between this law and the subjects covered by this lesson on accurate thought. The Master Mind is the principle through which you may become an accurate thinker! Is not this statement both plain and significant? Napoleon Hill | 43
  • 44. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 FAILURE An After-the-Lesson Visit With the Author The Great Success Lessons That Can Be Learned From Reverses. AN all-wise Providence has arranged the affairs of mankind so that every person who comes into the age of reason must bear the cross of FAILURE in one form or another. You see, in the picture at the top of this page, the heaviest and most cruel of all the crosses, POVERTY! Hundreds of millions of people living on this earth today find it necessary to struggle under the burden of this cross in order to enjoy the three bare necessities of life, a place to sleep, something to eat and clothes to wear. Carrying the cross of POVERTY is no joke! But, it seems significant that the greatest and most successful men and women who ever lived found it necessary to carry this cross before they “arrived.” FAILURE is generally accepted as a curse. But few people ever understand that failure is a curse only when it is accepted as such. But few ever learn the truth that FAILURE is seldom permanent. Go back over your own experiences for a few years and you will see that your failures generally turned out to be blessings in disguise. Failure teaches men lessons which they would never learn without it. Moreover, it teaches in a language that is universal. Among the great lessons taught by failure is that of HUMILITY. No man may become great without feeling himself humble and Napoleon Hill | 44
  • 45. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 insignificant when compared to the world about him and the stars above him and the harmony with which Nature does her work. For every rich man’s son who becomes a useful, constructive worker in behalf of humanity, there are ninety-nine others rendering useful service who come up through POVERTY and misery. This seems more than a coincidence! Most people who believe themselves to be failures are not failures at all. Most conditions which people look upon as failure are nothing more than temporary defeat. If you pity yourself and feel that you are a failure, think how much worse off you would be if you had to change places with others who have real cause for complaint. In the city of Chicago lives a beautiful young woman. Her eyes are a light blue. Her complexion is extremely fair. She has a sweet charming voice. She is educated and cultured. Three days after graduating in one of the colleges of the East she discovered that she had negro blood in her veins. The man to whom she was engaged refused to marry her. The negroes do not want her and the whites will not associate with her. During the remainder of her life she must bear the brand of permanent FAILURE. Remember, this is PERMANENT failure! As this essay is being written news comes of a beautiful girl baby who was born to an unwed girl and taken into an orphanage, there to be brought up mechanically, without ever knowing the influence of a mother’s love. All through life this unfortunate child must bear the brunt of another’s mistake which can never be corrected. How fortunate are YOU, no matter what may be your imaginary failures, that you are not this child. If you have a strong body and a sound mind you have much for which you ought to be thankful. Millions of people all about you have no such blessings. Careful analysis of one hundred men and women whom the world has accepted as being “great” shows that they were compelled to undergo hardship and temporary defeat and failure such as YOU probably have never known and never will know. Woodrow Wilson went to his grave altogether too soon, the victim of cruel slander and disappointment, believing, no doubt, that he was a FAILURE. TIME, the great miracle worker that rights all wrongs and turns Napoleon Hill | 45
  • 46. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 failure into success, will place the name of Woodrow Wilson at the top of the page of the really great. Few now living have the vision to see that out of Wilson’s “FAILURE” will come, eventually, such a powerful demand for universal peace that war will be an impossibility. Lincoln died without knowing that his “FAILURE” gave sound foundation to the greatest nation on this earth. Columbus died, a prisoner in chains, without ever knowing that his “FAILURE” meant the discovery of the great nation which Lincoln and Wilson helped to preserve, with their “FAILURES.” Do not use the word FAILURE carelessly. Remember, carrying a burdensome cross temporarily is not FAILURE. If you have the real seed of success within you, a little adversity and temporary defeat will only serve to nurture that seed and cause it to burst forth into maturity. When Divine Intelligence wants a great man or woman to render some needed service in the world, the fortunate one is tested out through some form of FAILURE. if you are undergoing what you believe to be failure, have patience; you may be passing through your testing time. No capable executive would select, as his lieutenants, those whom he had not tested for reliability, loyalty, perseverance and other essential qualities. Responsibility, and all that goes with it in the way of remuneration, always gravitates to the person who will not accept temporary defeat as permanent failure. “The test of a man is the fight he makes, The grit that he daily shows; The way he stands on his feet and takes Fate’s numerous bumps and blows, A coward can smile when there’s naught to fear, When nothing his progress bars; But it takes a man to stand up and cheer While some other fellow stars. “It isn’t the victory, after all, But the fight that a brother makes: The man who, driven against the wall, Still stands up erect and takes The blows of fate with his head held high: Bleeding, and bruised, and pale, Is the man who’ll win in the by and by, Napoleon Hill | 46
  • 47. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 For he isn’t afraid to fail. “It’s the bumps you get, and the jolts you get, And the shocks that your courage stands, The hours of sorrow and vain regret, The prize that escapes your hands, That test your mettle and prove your worth; It isn’t the blows you deal, But the blows you take on the good old earth, That show if your stuff is real.” Failure often places one in a position where unusual effort must be forthcoming. Many a man has wrung victory from defeat, fighting with his back to the wall, where he could not retreat. Caesar had long wished to conquer the British. He quietly sailed his soldier-laden ships to the British island, unloaded his troops and supplies, then gave the order to burn all the ships. Calling his soldiers about him he said: “Now it is win or perish. We have no choice.” They won! Men usually win when they make up their minds to do so. Burn your bridges behind you and observe how well you work when you KNOW THAT YOU HAVE NO RETREAT. A street car conductor got a leave of absence while he tried out a position in a great mercantile business. “If I do not succeed in holding my new position,” he remarked to a friend, “I can always come back to the old job.” At the end of tile month he was back, completely cured of all ambition to do anything except work on a street car. Had he resigned instead of asking for a leave of absence he might have made good in the new job. The Thirteen Club movement, which is now spreading over the entire country, was born as the result of a shocking disappointment experienced by its founder. That shock was sufficient to open the mind to a broader and more comprehensive view of the needs of the age, and this discovery led to the creation of one of the most outstanding influences of this generation. The Fifteen Laws of Success, upon which this course is based, grew out of twenty years of hardship and poverty and failure such as rarely come to one person in an entire lifetime. Napoleon Hill | 47
  • 48. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 Surely those of you who have followed this series of lessons from the beginning must have read between the lines and back of them a story of struggle which has meant self-discipline and self-discovery such as Study the roadway of life, in the picture at tile beginning of this essay, and observe that everyone who travels that road carries a cross. Remember, as you take inventory of your own burdens, that Nature’s richest gifts go to those who meet FAILURE without flinching or whining. Nature’s ways are not easily understood. If they were, no one could be tested for great responsibility, with FAILURE! “When Nature wants to make a man, And shake a man, And wake a man; When Nature wants to make a man To do the Future’s will When she tries with all her skill And she yearns with all her soul To create him large and whole...With what cunning she prepares him! How she goads and never spares him! How she whets him, and she frets him, And in poverty begets him....How she often disappoints How she often anoints, With what wisdom she will hide him, Never minding what betide him Though his genius sob with slighting And his pride may not forget! Bids him struggle harder yet. Makes him lonely So that only God’s high messages shall reach him, So that she may surely teach him What the Hierarchy planned. Though he may not understand Gives him passions to command. How remorselessly she spurs him With terrific ardor stirs him When she poignantly prefers him! *** Lo, the crisis! Lo, tile shout That must call the leader out. When the people need salvation Doth he come to lead the nation....Then doth Nature show her plan When the world has found -A MAN!” There is no FAILURE. That which looks to be failure is usually nothing but temporary defeat. Make sure that you do not accept it as PERMANENT! Napoleon Hill | 48
  • 49. The Law of Success. Lesson 11 The Law of Success Lesson 11 Napoleon Hill Introduction and Editing by Adrian P. Cooper Author of: Our Ultimate Reality Life, the Universe and the Destiny of Mankind Published by Mind Power Books A division of Mind Power Corporation Electronic book version copyright © 2006 Mind Power Corporation. This book may not be copied, converted or transmitted in whole or in part to any medium, without the permission in writing of Mind Power Corporation. Napoleon Hill | 49